With the weather cold, wet and windy at the moment, comfort food is definitely the name of the game and you can’t go wrong with a hearty stew… especially if you got a slow cooker for Christmas.
Slow cooked lamb stew
1kg lamb shanks (about 4 medium ones)
4 shallots, diced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil
A little flour
1/2 cup of red wine
2 cups beef or lamb stock
1 tablespoon cornflour
Place the shallots, carrots, garlic, tomato paste, thyme and a good pinch of salt and pepper in your slow cooker. Mix together well.
Pat dry the lamb shanks and season well with salt and pepper. Dust with flour and shake off any excess. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and then brown the lamb shanks on all sides. Leave the pan over the heat. Add the lamb shanks to the slow cooker. Add the wine to the pan to deglaze (or in layman’s terms burn off the alcohol). Add the wine and the stock to the slow cooker. Put the lid on and cook on low for 10 h0urs.
When the time is up remove the shanks and the carrots from the slow cooker and set inside. Scoop the fat off the top of the braising liquid. Remove any onions from the braising liquid using a slotted spoon and add to a small saucepan. Mix a couple of tablespoons of the braising liquid with the cornflour and add to the saucepan. Then pour in about half of the rest of the braising liquid. Put the saucepan over a medium heat, bring to the boil and whisk until the sauce thickens.
Serve the lamb shanks with the carrots and sauce over mashed potatoes.